Defender Paige Nielsen was selected in the fourth round of the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft by Angel City FC on December 16, 2021, after winning the 2021 NWSL Championship with the Washington Spirit. In addition to the championship, she won the Spirit’s 2021 Player of the Year Award.
Signed by the Washington Spirit on February 28, 2019, after playing abroad with the W-League Western Sydney Wanderers (2016–17), the WK League Suwon UDC (2017–18), and the W-League Canberra United (2018). She started 22 matches in 2019 and had an 84.6 percent successful pass rate and 90.9 passing accuracy in the defensive half of the field.
Nielsen was drafted in the third round, 25th overall by the Seattle Reign in the 2016 NWSL Draft, becoming the first Nebraskan drafted to the NWSL. In 2012, she won an NCAA Championship with UNC as a freshman. At Lincoln Southeast HS, she played four years of soccer and basketball as a point guard and earned 2011 and 2012 Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year nominations. She also won three State Cup championships from 2010–12 with Omaha’s Toro Bravo soccer club.
Her older sister, Sierra Nielsen, is an Instagram influencer focused on physical and mental health.